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F-Gas Registration in Ireland

Welcome to F-Gas Registration Ltd. From 4th July 2009 it became a legal requirement for all businesses that install, maintain or service stationary refrigeration, Stationary Fire Protection Systems and Extinguishers , Air conditioning and Heat Pump equipment containing or designed to contain F-Gas refrigerants to obtain an F-Gas Company Certificate. Read more >

Register securely online

You can register your company online via our online application form. Once registration is paid you can renew your certificate annually via your online account. Register now >

FAQ’s

The Climate Change section of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government have taken the decision to designate F-Gas Registration Ltd as a mandatory F-Gas Company Certification scheme that can issue stationary equipment qualification company certificates in the Republic of Ireland.

Click the questions below to view the answers.

What do the Regulations seek to achieve?

Fluorinated gases have a high global warming effect if released into the atmosphere.

The objective of the Regulations is to contain, prevent and thereby reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol, so as to help combat climate change.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union has committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 8% compared to the base year 1990 in the period 2008 2012.

The Kyoto Protocol covers the major greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and three groups of fluorinated gases, the so called ‘F-Gases’: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

To reduce emissions of these F-Gases in order to meet the EU climate change objectives and obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, the European Parliament and the Council adopted on 17 May 2006 the Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-Gas Regulation). This Regulation which applies as of 4th July 2007, lays down specific requirements for the different stages of the whole life cycle of F-Gases, from the production to end of life. Consequently, different operators along the life cycle of the F-Gases are affected by the Regulation including producers, importers and exporters of F Gases, manufacturers and importers of certain F-Gas containing products and equipment and operators of the equipment.

Why is a mandatory certification scheme required?

Commission Regulation 303 & 304/2008 of 2 April 2008 sets out the requirements for a company certification scheme for businesses working with stationary refrigeration air-conditioning and heat pump equipment containing or designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-Gases) and Fire sector systems and equipment in accordance with Article 5.1 of EC Regulations 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (the EC F-Gas Regulation).

How will it affect my business?

All businesses carrying out installation, maintenance or servicing of stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning (SRAC) and/or heat pump equipment containing or designed to contain F-Gas refrigerants, be that as an in-house function or acting as contractors on behalf of other businesses must hold a certificate and;

All businesses carrying out installation, maintenance or servicing of stationary fire protection systems and fire extinguishers containing or designed to contain F-Gases, be that as an in-house function or acting as contractors on behalf of other businesses must hold a certificate.

What is meant by installation?

Commission Regulation 303 & 304/2008 defines installation as follows:

Stationary Refrigeration and Air Conditioning “installation” means joining two or more pieces of equipment or circuits containing or designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gas refrigerant, with a view to assembling a system in the location where it will be operated, including the action by which refrigerant conductors of a system are joined together to complete a refrigerant circuit irrespective of the need to charge the system after assembly. Therefore if you are simply installing water piping to a chilled water or heat pump system you do not require certification, however if you are commissioning the chiller or heat pump you do require certification.

Fire sector Installation means connecting for the first time at the location in which they will be operated, one or more containers containing or designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gas extinguishing agent with associated components, excluding those components which do not affect the containment of the extinguishing agent prior to its release for the purpose of fire extinguishing.

What is meant by maintenance or servicing?

Commission Regulation 303 & 304/2008 defines maintenance or servicing as follows:

Stationary Refrigeration and Air Conditioning “maintenance or servicing” means all activities, excluding recovery and checks for leakage, that entail breaking into the circuits containing or designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gases, in particular supplying the system with fluorinated greenhouse gases, removing one or more pieces of circuit or equipment, re-assembling two or more pieces of circuit or equipment, as well as repairing leakages.

Fire Sector Maintenance or servicing comprises all activities that entail work on the containers (or piping) containing or designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gas extinguishing agent or on the associated components, excluding those components which do not affect the containment of the extinguishing agent prior to its release for the purpose of fire extinguishing

Leakage checking means the examination of the system for leakage of fluorinated greenhouse gases.

Who is responsible for compliance?

In Ireland, the person having control of the equipment containing the F-Gas refrigerant (the “operator”), typically a company, is likely to have responsibility. Also, any business employing personnel involved in refrigerant handling must ensure that they have the appropriate qualifications. The operator may be, but is not necessarily, the owner of the refrigeration, air-conditioning, heat pump and fire protection equipment. The operator is defined in relation to F-Gases as “… the natural or legal person exercising actual power over the technical functioning of the equipment and systems …”.

To help answer this question the European Commission issued guidance in 2008 which states that the “actual power over the technical functioning” of a piece of equipment or system must include each of the following elements:

Free access to the system, which entails the possibility to supervise its components and their functioning, and the possibility to grant access to third parties;
The control over the day-to-day functioning / running (e.g. take the decision to switch it on or off); and,
The powers (including financial power) to decide on technical modifications (e.g. replacement of a component), modification of the quantities of F-gases in the system, and to have checks or repairs carried out.
If all of these elements are transferred to a third party through contractual arrangements then the responsibility for compliance with operator requirements will likely rest with the third party, depending on how the contract is set up. For example, a supermarket retail chain will be the operator, unless the supermarket chain has formally and contractually devolved all responsibility to another party, such as a contractor or FM (facilities management) company. For many organisations, the end-user is both the owner and the operator of the system.

When do I need to apply?

The timetable specified in the Commission Regulation 303/2008 is as follows:

A full company certificate can be applied for from 4th July 2009 but must be held by 4th July 2011.
The timetable specified in the Commission Regulation 304/2008 (Fire Sector) is as follows:

A full company certificate can be applied for from 4th July 2009 but must be held by 4th July 2010.

How much will it cost?

Registration and Certification is valid until 31st December each year.
Companies that have been operating on systems containing or designed to contain F gases before the year of registration will be asked to pay an administration charge for the period when they were trading illegally.
There will be no concession for companies operating without registration.

Size of business Cost With VAT @ 23%
Micro
(sole trader – 1 employee)
€150.00 €184.50
Small
(2-10 employees)
€300.00 €369.00
Medium
(11+ employees)
€500.00 €615.00

Additional fees may apply in certain cases (for example duplicate copies of certificates).

What happens to the money?

F Gas Registration Ltd will not make a profit. Any surplus arising will be used to reduce fees in later years and to further support the scheme.

How do I make an application?

You can apply in the following ways:

  • Online application (including payment) on the F-Gas Registration website
  • Postal application to F Gas Registration Ltd, D.C.C.A House, Unit No 70B, Baldoyle Industrial Estate, Dublin 13

We recommend that applicants use the online application process and choose to pay by credit card or direct transfer to FGR bank account to greatly speed up the process.

What do I get when I join?

Businesses will be issued with a full certificate. Certificates are valid until 31st December in the year of issue.

Who will enforce these regulations?

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) will act as enforcing body.

What are the scheme requirements?

SRAC Certification

By 4th July 2011 businesses must hold a stationary equipment qualification company certificate.

To apply for full certification businesses will need to provide:

  • information about the business
  • a list of employed engineers holding an appropriate stationary equipment qualification (City and Guilds 2079 categories I-IV or FETAC Level 5 (Special PurposeCertificate in Handling F-gas Refrigerants 5S0108)) in handling F-Gases in sufficient number to cover the expected volume of activities
  • Proof that appropriate recovery systems and refrigerant handling procedures are in place and in use

Fire Sector Full Certification

By 4th July 2010 businesses must hold a stationary equipment qualification company certificate.

To apply for full certification businesses will need to provide:

  • information about the business
  • a list of employed engineers holding an appropriate stationary equipment qualification (FETAC Level 5 Special Purpose Certificate in Handling F-Gas Fire Extinguishants 5S0110) in handling F-Gases in sufficient number to cover the expected volume of activities.
  • To obtain a certificate personnel must pass a theoretical and practical examination organised by a designated evaluation body. Commission Regulation (EC) No 304/2008 sets minimum requirements as to the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to be covered in the examination. Certificates are issued by certification bodies designated by Member States.

Companies
To obtain a certificate for installation, maintenance or servicing activities, companies must fulfil certain requirements. As minimum conditions, Commission Regulation (EC) No 304/2008 requires that companies:

  • employ certified personnel for the relevant activities in a sufficient number to cover the expected volume of activities, and
  • prove that the necessary tools and procedures have been made available to the personnel engaged in those activities Certificates are issued by certification bodies designated by Member States.

Certificates are issued by certification bodies designated by Member States.
Mutual recognition

Certificates issued in one Member State are valid in all Member States, but Member States will require a translation of the certificate into English.

What is an in-house qualification?

In-house qualification is defined in national regulations and means a qualification verified by a certificate of competence or other written confirmation issued by an employer to such of its employees who have successfully completed a course of training provided by that employer relating to the work in question.

A course of training provided by an employer must enable an employee who has been trained to carry out relevant work satisfactorily. An employer must keep a record of training, must provide a copy to an employee which shows the name of employee trained, course provided, dates provided and date of completion or other confirmation that course was completed.

The Board of F-Gas Registration Ltd reserve the right to refuse an unknown in house qualification. Any costs involved in seeking clarification for an in house qualification shall be borne by the applicant.

What are the new categories of training in the F gas regulations?

For RAC personnel, the European Commission Regulation 303/2008 refers to four different levels of certification, which allow personnel to carry out different activities. These are now described. Note that Category I covers all activities whereas the other 3 categories are more restrictive:

Category I certificate holders may carry out all refrigerant handling activities for any size of RAC systems containing HFC refrigerants. This includes leakage checking, refrigerant recovery, installation, maintenance and servicing.

Category II certificate holders may carry out refrigerant recovery, installation, maintenance and servicing, in relation to RAC systems containing less than 3 kg of fluorinated greenhouse gases (or less than 6 kg for systems that are hermetically sealed). Category II certificate holders may also carry out leak checks on any plant provided that it does not entail breaking into the refrigeration circuit containing fluorinated greenhouse gases.

Category III certificate holders may carry out refrigerant recovery in relation to RAC systems containing less than 3 kg of fluorinated greenhouse gases (or less than 6 kg for systems that are hermetically sealed).

Category IV certificate holders may carry out leak checks on any plant provided that it does not entail breaking into the refrigeration circuit containing fluorinated greenhouse gases.

Are the new Safe Handling of Refrigerant qualifications readily available?

Following extensive consultation it is possible to obtain either FETAC or City and Guilds qualifications in Ireland.

Are there any exemptions from personnel qualifications?

There are exemptions for three categories of personnel:

  • Trainees are exempt for up to 2 years, but they must work under the supervision of a person with the requisite qualification and must be enrolled on a relevant training course.
  • Personnel only undertaking brazing, soldering or welding on a piece of RAC equipment would be exempt if they hold a nationally recognised qualification to undertake such activities and if they are supervised by a person holding the requisite F gas certificate covering the relevant activity.

Personnel undertaking recovery of F gases from “waste equipment” under the WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) EC 96/2002 with an F gas charge less than 3 kg, in premises covered by a suitable permit, are exempt provided that they are employed by the company holding the permit and have completed a training course on the minimum skills and knowledge corresponding to Category III that is verified by an attestation of competence issued by the permit holder.

Where do the Regulations apply?

The Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government have taken the decision to designate F-Gas Registration Ltd as a mandatory F-Gas Company Certification scheme that can issue stationary equipment qualification company certificates in the Republic of Ireland.

I have not received my F Gas Company Certificate, am I trading illegally?

If you have applied on-line or made a postal application for your F-Gas Company Certification but have not yet received your certificate, don’t worry. Provided you’ve met the certification standards, and paid your annual fee plus any administration charge, your business details will appear in the public listing on F-Gas Registration’s website with your registration number. Your business has complied with the F-Gas Regulations!
Certificates are being issued to each company, if you are not yet in receipt of your certificate one will follow shortly.

I am a FGR F-Gas Certificated business, can I use FGR's logo on my stationary and company vehicles?

FGR can issue an adhesive label for use on vehicles .
The use of the FGR logo is not permitted without specific authorisation from FGR and any use of the logo must carry your certification number.

 

 

 

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